Religion and Secularization

Last week in class we focused on secularization in religion. We broke up into groups and each read a different article focusing on this topic. The article I read was “Secularization and its Discontents” by Warner. This article was very informative, although a little long and hard to follow. The main points of this article were sectioned off into five parts: empirical data of church decline, the intellectual context of church decline, social forces of secularization: individualism and rationalization, further socio-cultural dynamics of secularization, and secularization theory and the marginality of religion. This article talked about many reasons for secularization in Europe, but the point that stood out to me the most was about the Age of Enlightenment and how that affected the legitimacy of some people’s religious beliefs in the nineteenth century. I found that point to be the easiest to understand and the one that made the most sense to me. Religion has always been a way to explain the unexplainable, and the rise of reason and science took the place of religion in some sense. All of the articles that we discussed in class touched on different points about secularizaiton, but they were all very informative and shed light on a multitude of different theories. This topic is something I would like to continue to discuss in class, as it seems to have many layers.